I let the day marking nine years being single pass right by without playing a song by Linda Ronstadt, Eric Carmen or Gilbert O’Sullivan.
Today marks twenty-eight years of being a vegetarian, but I only stumbled upon that fact as I began writing this. I have no special plans with tofu tonight (not that I ever do!).
Mid-June marked the fifth anniversary of my Rural Gay blog. That is indeed a milestone. I began with a short post explaining my love for quieter, scenic surroundings but ruing the fact that I was losing my gay identity. My thoughts are as true today as they were then.
I felt the blog provided an original point of view—what middle-aged fool goes from urban to rural as a single gay man? What compelled me to play The Opposite Game? Isn’t it a law of nature that all small town gays must move to the city as soon as they attain some semblance of independence? Aren’t the suburban and nether-land gays the ones who have found a partner and want to explore gardening and daily nature walks? I’ve discovered that we fools are few and far between, but I am not alone, at least not in spirit.
Five years ago, blogging was new to me. I didn’t really get it. I’d write something, post it and then nothing would happen. Did anyone read it? I figured it was my online journal—if nothing else, a way to save paper as I worked through random, often self-absorbed thoughts.
It took sixteen months before I received my first comment. Eureka! A reader! Comments have come sporadically since then, but they’ve never been as much as I’d hoped. I wanted the blog to be a meeting place, particularly for other remote gay men, a way for them (and myself) to feel connected and to reaffirm whatever it is that makes us gay.
Eventually I got a Twitter account, using the Rural Gay name and it has proven to be a better connection to The Disconnecteds. I’ve also received far more feedback regarding my posts through Twitter. I suppose a quick Tweet is easier than posting a comment under an account and affirming you are not a Spambot by typing one or two blurry, usually nonsensical “words”.
My greatest dilemma in keeping the blog current is having something to say. If I want, I can Tweet about cutting my toenails or burning a piece of toast. These “events” are not blog-worthy. (Really, they shouldn’t be Tweet-able either but there are thousands of people who lack Twitter sense. I’m talking to you, ArizonaDaredevil4. I don’t care which McDonald’s you are at for lunch.) A key aspect of being Rural Gay is that nothing much gay happens. Perhaps the blog concept was inherently flawed. Still, I’ve somehow managed to write 227 posts. My apologies for the more inane ones. Rest assured, I’ve rejected even duller ideas!
A few years ago, I decided I needed to abandon rural living. I needed the sound of sirens, I’d come to appreciate traffic lights and, yes, I wanted to eat at restaurants that featured a single cuisine. (Still haven’t tried the Greek/Indian/pizza place in my neighboring town.) With the house up for sale, I figured the blog’s days were numbered. I’d go from “Rural Gay” to “Gay”, maybe even with a celebratory exclamation mark. As one of many urban gays, my life would be happily unbloggable.
And yet I blog on. The house is off the market. I’m here to stay for the foreseeable future. The blog has gone from Is anybody out there? to a modest but growing 3,000 visitors a month. I am glad you are with me, Dear Reader. Even when you lurk in silence and are nothing more than a number on my blog count, you provide me an audience which is what every writer desires. More importantly, you make me feel less alone, more connected and a part of something bigger.
Thank you for reading. I am immensely grateful!